Heading to the north of Thailand, approximately 751 kilometres away from the train centre in Bangkok ‘Hua Lumphong,’ it takes about 12 hours to 15 hours on the train journey to arrive this heritage city of Thailand. Begun the first train in 1922 from Lampang – Chiang Mai train, this station was once destroyed by bombs in 1943 and rebuilt in 1945 and reopened in 1950.
Located on ‘Rod Fai’ Road – means train, the 1st class Chiang Mai Train Station has been full of travellers, tourists and passengers since the first day of opening . Recently, after the blasted launch of alternative transportation promotion in Thailand, for example low-cost airlines, new bus terminal in Chiang Mai or even the safety travel on the train, the reputation of the train station decreasingly starts. Nevertheless, the train station is still interesting among the backpackers and local residents who not need a rush because of its cheap price and comfort.
Patrolling around the Chiang Mai Station, before we talk about the noteworthy information. As the the train station is located in a little bit outskirt of Chiang Mai city, the Tuk Tuk may cost you at least 100 baht or 30 baht for the Song Thaew or Red Car (Same prices on the reverse direction). So, make your decision with best attempted negotiation.
The train station may cost a parking fee when you park \more than 20 minutes. Here are the parking fees; Motorcycle costs 10 baht (1st hour) and 5 baht (for the next hour), or 60 baht (one day), Car costs 20 baht (1st hour) and 10 baht (for the next hour) or 80 baht (one day).
At Chiang Mai Railway Station, there are 6 types of train: Rapid, Sprinter, Local (Free train from Chiang Mai – Bangkok, start 5.45 a.m. daily), Special Express, Nakornping Express (fastest one) and express, and three types of class: 1st class, 2nd class and 3rd class. Don’t believe them as it tells you ‘Express Train,’ you still have to be on the train at least 10 – 12 hours (from Chiang Mai – Bangkok). The price depends on the distance. Here are the timetables and fares (only Chiang Mai – Bangkok);
Booking the tickets from The official website of State Railway of Thailand is out of work. It means that you have to come to the station to buy your own ticket! The today and advance ticket service is daily operating from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. How to buy a ticket? Stand in the line and wait for a call. Tell the bilingual operator your destination. Give them the money and take the ticket. Credit cards are accepted. Reverse direction price? It should be the same, but please check first because ‘TIT – This is Thailand.’ The price can be added at anytime without prior notice.
If you arrive the station too early which always happens to tourists with early hotel check-out, you can leave your belongings or luggages at the luggage room, operating from 4.50 a.m. – 8.45 p.m. which cost you 50 baht per day for big luggage per piece and 30 baht per day for small luggage per piece.
It is definitely quiet in the day time and very noisy in the morning and late afternoon. In the rush hour, it is pretty hard to find a seat, even though there are many seats filled in the station. Sitting at the Food court is a great place to wait The taste is fine and the price is affordable (Starting at 30 baht). Toilet cost you three baht and five baht if you need a shower.
On all the three platforms, we convince you not to buy snacks or candies because the price is DOUBLED! You better walk out to the store near the station such as 7-Eleven, local store or local restaurant.
Around the train station, facilities are provided; Boss Hotel – a three-stars comfortable hotel, priced 800 baht per night with a cheap and clean restaurant, AYA Service – a motorcycle for rent at the 120 baht as a starting price, Tsibugan Philippines Restaurant, and so on.
Many people, particularly teenagers, may think the train station is in old-fashioned, filthy and uncomfortable. However, if you need something different and take a great view or comfortable travel, train is such a terrific choice!
Shameful Tips – According to the statistic on Ministry of Transport, it shows that the Thai trains derail108 times per year/ 202 time in two years with five deaths and 52 injures. SO, make yourself ready because anything can happen.
DON’T expect on the SAFTY & PUNCTUALITY because it never is.
Have a save trip in Thailand!